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For other uses, see AOL (disambiguation).
Subsidiary of Time Warner
1983 as Quantum Computer Services
New York, New York (operations in
Dulles, VA), United States
Randy Falco, Chairman & CEO
Ronald Grant, President & COO
Internet & Communications
AOL LLC (formerly America Online) is an American global Internet services and media
company operated by Time Warner and was headquartered in Loudoun County, Virginia until
late April 2008 when it was moved to new offices at 770 Broadway in New York City.
Founded in 1983 as Quantum Computer Services, it has franchised its services to companies in
several nations around the world or set up international versions of its services.
AOL is perhaps best known for its online software suite, also called quot;AOLquot;, that allowed
millions of customers around the world to access the world's largest quot;walled gardenquot; online
community and eventually reach out to the internet as a whole. At one time AOL's membership
was over 30 million members worldwide, most of whom accessed the AOL service through the
AOL software suite.
4 Company purchases
5 Company sales
6 Notable people associated with AOL
7 International versions
8 Online security services
9 Free services
10 Movie studios partnership
11 See also
13 External links
With regional branches around the world, the former American quot;goliath among Internet service
providersquot; once had more than 30 million subscribers on several continents. In January 2000,
AOL and Time Warner announced plans to merge. The terms of the deal negotiated called for
AOL shareholders to own 55% of the new, combined company. The deal closed on 11 January
2001 after receiving regulatory approval from the FTC, the FCC and the European Union.
America Online, Inc., as the company was then called, was led by executives from AOL, SBI
and Time Warner. Gerald Levin, who had served as CEO of Time Warner, was CEO of the new
company. Steve Case served as Chairman, J. Michael Kelly (from AOL) was the Chief Financial
Officer, Robert W. Pittman (from AOL) and Dick Parsons (from Time Warner) served as Co-
Chief Operating Officers. The total value of AOL stock subsequently went from $226 billion to
about $20 billion. Similarly, its customer base has decreased to 10.1 million subscribers as of
November 2007, just narrowly ahead of Comcast and AT&T Yahoo!.
AOL is a company in transition, made evident by discussions of buy-outs and joint ventures
during a period of dramatic decline in AOL's subscriber base.[neutrality disputed]
News reports in late 2005 identified companies such as Yahoo!, Microsoft, and Google as
candidates for turning AOL into a joint venture; those plans were apparently abandoned when
it was revealed on 20 December 2005 that Google would purchase a 5% share of AOL for $1
AOL was rated both one of the best and worst Internet suppliers in the UK, according to a poll
by BBC Watchdog.
On 31 March 1997, the short lived eWorld was purchased by AOL, forcing the 115,000 users to
subscribe to AOL. The ISP side of AOL UK was bought by The Carphone Warehouse in
October 2006 to take advantage of their 100,000 LLU customers which made The Carphone
Warehouse the biggest LLU provider in the UK.
AOL began life as a short-lived venture called Control Video Corporation(or CVC), founded
by Bill von Meister. Its sole product was an online service called Gamelinefor the Atari
2600video game consoleafter von Meister's idea of buying music on demand was rejected by
Warner Brothers.Subscribers bought a modemfrom the company for $49.95 and paid a one-
time $15 setup fee. Gameline permitted subscribers to temporarily download games and keep
track of high scores, at a cost of $1 per game. The telephone disconnected and the downloaded
game would remain in Gameline's Master Module and playable until the user turned off his
console or downloaded another game. In January 1983, Steve Casewas hired as a marketing
consultant for Control Video on the recommendation of his brother, investment banker Dan
Case. In May 1983, Jim Kimseybecame a manufacturing consultant for Control Video, which
was near bankruptcy. Kimsey was brought in by his West Point friend Frank Caufield, an
investor in the company.Von Meister quietly left the company in early 1985. Control Video
was reorganized as Quantum Computer Services, Inc. on May 24, 1985, with Kimsey as Chief
Executive Officerand Marc Seriffas Chief Technology Officer. Out of 100 employees from
Control Video, only 10 remained in the new company.Case himself rose quickly through the
ranks; Kimsey promoted him to vice-president of marketing not long after becoming CEO, and
later promoted him further to executive vice-president in 1987. Kimsey soon began to groom
Case to ascend to the rank of CEO, which he did when Kimsey retired in 1991. Kimsey changed
the company's strategy, and in 1985 launched a dedicated online service for Commodore 64and
128computers, originally called Quantum Link(quot;Q-Linkquot; for short). The Quantum Link software
was based on software licensed from PlayNet, Inc. In May 1988, Quantum and Apple launched
AppleLinkPersonal Edition for Apple IIand Macintoshcomputers. In August 1988, Quantum
launched PC Link, a service for IBM-compatible PCsdeveloped in a joint venture with the Tandy
Corporation. After the company parted ways with Apple in October 1989, Quantum changed the
service's name to America Online.From the beginning, AOL included online gamesin its
mix of products; many classic and casual games were included in the original PlayNet software
system. In the early years of AOL the company introduced many additional innovative online
interactive titles and games, including:
Graphical chat environments Habitat (1986–1988) and Club Caribe (1988) from
The first online interactive fiction series QuantumLink Serial by Tracy Reed (1988).
Quantum Space, the first fully automated Play by email game (1989–1991).
The original Dungeons & Dragons title Neverwinter Nights from Stormfront Studios
(1991–1997), the first Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) to
depict the adventure with graphics instead of text (1991).
The first chat room-based text role-playing game Black Bayou (1996–2004), a horror
role-playing game from Hecklers Online and ANTAGONIST, Inc..
In 2008 Neverwinter Nights was honored (along with Everquestand World of Warcraft) at the
59th Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awardsfor advancing the art form of
MMORPGgames. In February 1991 AOL for DOSwas launched using a GeoWorksinterface
followed a year later by AOL for Windows. This coincided with growth in pay-based online
services, like Prodigy, CompuServe, and GEnie. AOL discontinued Q-Link and PC Link in the
fall of 1994.
AOL release timeline
America Online for Macintosh received as a
popular Apple Macintosh BBS
AOL for DOS launched
January AOL 2.0 for the Apple Macintosh released,
1993 AOL 1.0 for Microsoft Windows 3.x launched
June 1994 AOL 1.5 for Microsoft Windows 3.x released
AOL 2.0 for Microsoft Windows 3.x released
June 1995 AOL 2.5 for Microsoft Windows 3.x released
AOL 3.0 (Win16) for Windows 3.x/Windows
95/Windows NT released
June 1996 AOL 3.0 for Windows 95 released
/ June AOL 4.0 (Casablanca) and Refresh 2 released
AOL 5.0 (Kilimanjaro) released
June 2000 AOL 5.0 for 9x/NT/2K (Niagara) released
and AOL 6.0 (K2 - Karakorum) and Refresh
AOL 6.0.2 for XP launched
December AOL 7.0 (Taz) and Refresh 1, Refresh 2, and
2001, Refresh 2 Plus released
AOL 8.0 (Spacely) released
AOL 8.0 Plus (Elroy) launched
and AOL 9.0 Optimized (Bunker Hill / Blue
September Hawaii) and Refresh released
AOL 9.0 Optimized SE/LE (Thailand / Tahiti)
AOL 9.0 Security Edition SE/LE (Strauss)
and Refresh released
AOL Suite Beta launched (cancelled)
AOL OpenRide (Streamliner) launched
November AOL 9.0 VR and Refresh (Raga) released
2006, (AOL 9.0 for Microsoft Windows Vista but
April also works with Microsoft Windows 98, ME,
2007 2000 and XP)
AOL Desktop for Mac Beta released
AOL 9.1 (Tarana) released
AOL Desktop (aka AOL 10.0) launched
May 2008 AOL Desktop for Mac 1.0 officially launched
AOL Desktop 10.1 released
AOL 9.5 released
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issues on the talk page.
Its neutrality is disputed. Tagged
since November 2008.
Case positioned AOL as the online service for people unfamiliar with computers, in particular
contrast to CompuServe, which had long served the technical community. The PlayNet system
that AOL licensed was the first online service to require use of proprietary software, rather than a
standard terminal program; as a result it was able to offer a graphical user interface (GUI) instead
of command lines, and was well ahead of the competition in emphasizing communication among
members as a feature.
In particular was the Chat Room concept from PlayNet, as opposed to the previous paradigm of
CB-style channels. Chat Rooms allowed a large group of people with similar interests to convene
and hold conversations in real time, including:
Private rooms - created by any user. Hold up to 23 people.
Conference rooms - created with permission of AOL. Hold up to 48 people and often
Auditoriums - created with permission of AOL. Consisted of a stage and an unlimited
number of rows. What happened on the stage was viewable by everybody in the
auditorium but what happened within individual rows, of up to 27 people, was viewable
only by the people within those rows.
In March 1994, AOL added access to USENET to the features it offered.
AOL quickly surpassed GEnie, and by the mid-1990s, it passed Prodigy (which for several years
allowed AOL advertising) and CompuServe. Originally, AOL charged its users an hourly fee,
but in 1996 this changed and a flat rate of $19.99 a month was charged. Within three years,
AOL's userbase grew to 10 million people. During this time, AOL connections would be flooded
with users trying to get on, and many canceled their accounts due to constant busy signals (this
was often joked quot;AOLquot; standing for quot;Always Off-Linequot;).
AOL was quickly running out of room in 1996 for its network at the Vienna, VA campus and
moved to Dulles, VA a short distance away. The move to Dulles took place in mid-1996 and
provided room for future growth. Accordingly in a five year landmark agreement with the now
reigning operating system winner was AOL bundled with Windows.
AOL was relatively late in providing access to the open Internet. Originally, only some Internet
features were accessible through a proprietary interface but eventually it became possible to run
other Internet software while logged in through AOL.
 Change in focus
This article or section has multiple issues. Please help improve the article or discuss
these issues on the talk page.
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It appears to contradict itself. Tagged since October 2008.
U.S. AOL Subscribers Q201-Q407
Since its merger with Time Warner (the owners of the aforementioned Warner Bros.), the value
of AOL has dropped significantly from its $240 billion high. Its subscriber base has seen no
quarterly growth since 2002. AOL has since attempted to reposition itself as a content provider
similar to companies such as Yahoo! as opposed to an Internet service provider.
In 2004 along with the launch of AOL 9.0 Optimized, AOL also made available the
option of personalized greetings which would enable the user to hear his or her name
while accessing basic functions and mail alerts, or while logging in or out.
AOL eventually announced plans to offer subscribers classic television
programs for free with commercials inserted via its new IN2TV service. At the time of
launch, AOL made available Warner Bros. Television's vast library of programs, with
Welcome Back Kotter as its marquee offering.
In 2005, AOL broadcast the Live 8 concert live over the Internet, and thousands of users
downloaded clips of the concert over the following months.
In 2005, AOL (along with Telepictures Productions) launched TMZ.com, one of the
leading celebrity news and gossip sources on the web. TMZ.com has become known for
its quickness to break celebrity news, often accompanied by exclusive videos and photos.
In 2006, AOL informed its American customers that it would be increasing the price of
its dial-up access to $25.90. The increase was part of an effort to migrate the service's
remaining dial-up users to broadband, as the increased price was the same price they had
been charging for monthly DSL access. However, AOL has since started offering their
services for $9.95 a month for unlimited dial-up access.
On April 3 2006, AOL announced that it was retiring the full name quot;America Onlinequot;;
the official name of the service is now quot;AOLquot;, and the full name of the TimeWarner
subdivision is quot;AOL, LLC.
On August 2 2006, AOL announced that they would give away e-mail accounts and
software previously available only to its paying customers provided the customer
accesses AOL or AOL.com through a non-AOL-owned access method (otherwise known
as quot;third party transitquot;, quot;bring your own accessquot;, or quot;BYOAquot;). The move was designed to
reduce costs associated with the quot;Walled Gardenquot; business model by reducing usage of
AOL-owned access points and shifting members with high-speed internet access from
client-based usage to the more lucrative advertising provider, AOL.com. The
change from paid to free was also designed to slow the rate of members canceling their
accounts and defecting to Microsoft Hotmail, Yahoo!, or other free e-mail providers.
According to AOL CEO Randy Falco, as of December 2007, the conversion rate of
accounts from paid access to free access is over 80%.
In December 2006, in order to cut operating costs, AOL decided to cease using U.S.-
based call centers to provide customer service. AOL drastically downsized
U.S. corporate operations as well. Two weeks before Christmas, thousands of workers
were put on notice that their positions were being eliminated altogether, or being replaced
with outsourced employees. On January 28 2007, the last domestic AOL
owned and operated call center (based in Oklahoma City) closed its doors,
and, during October 2007, the last call center in Canada was also shut down.
All customer service calls are now handled by outsourced representatives in Ogden, Utah,
India, the Philippines, and Mexico.
On September 17 2007, AOL announced that it was moving its corporate headquarters
from Dulles, Virginia to New York, New York and combining its various advertising
units into a new subsidiary called Platform A. This action follows several advertising
acquisitions, most notably Advertising.com, and highlights the company's new focus on
advertising-driven business models. AOL management stressed that quot;significant
operationsquot; will remain in Dulles, which includes the company's access services and
The neutrality of this article is disputed.
Please see the discussion on the talk page. (November 2008)
Please do not remove this message until the dispute is resolved.
AOL created animated cartoons in 2008 to explain behavioral targeting to its users,
showing how a user's past visits to other Web sites may determine the content of
advertising they see in the future. Later that year AOL initiated privacy research and
extended the animated penguin campaign to the United Kingdom.
AOL closed one of its three Northern Virginia data centers, Reston Technology Center,
and sold it to CRG West in January 2008 . This sale enabled AOL to consolidate its
Northern Virginia operations from three sites (Dulles, Manassas, Reston) to two. AOL
took advantage of the move to both reduce its overall hardware inventory and to
determine a quot;right sizequot; for its Network Operations Center staff after consolidating the
three sites into two.
As part of the impending move to New York and the restructuring of responsibilities at
the Dulles headquarters complex after the Reston move, AOL CEO Randy Falco
announced on October 15 2007 plans to lay off 2000 employees worldwide by the end of
2007, beginning quot;immediatelyquot;. [opinion needs balancing] That evening, over 750 employees
at Dulles alone received notices to attend early morning meetings the next day; those
employees were laid off on 16 October 2007, though the employees would remain on the
payroll until December 14 2007 in accordance with the Worker Adjustment and
Retraining Notification Act. Other employees whose groups were due for phase-out as
part of the restructuring were informed on October 16 2007 that they would be kept on
until December 14 2007 to complete any outstanding tasks, after which they would be
laid off. The reduction in force was so large that virtually every conference room within
the Dulles complex was reserved for the day as a quot;Special Purpose Roomquot;, where various
aspects of the layoff process were conducted for outgoing employees; remaining
employees at Dulles were quick to dub the mass layoff quot;Bloody Tuesdayquot; in online blogs
and news reports.[unreliable source?] An unspecified number of staff at the former
Compuserve facility in Columbus, OH were also released, as well as the entire Tucson
Quality Analysis shop, a number of AOL employees working at the former Netscape
facility in Mountain View, CA, the development team in France, and practically the
entire Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada member services call center site. The end result
was a near 40% layoff across the board at AOL, including a substantial number of
Systems Operations personnel, a significant change from previous layoffs where SysOps
employees routinely suffered only minor personnel reductions.. An additional round of
layoffs, mostly confined to analysis groups and the staff at AOL Voice Services in
Halifax, Nova Scotia, occurred on 11 December and 12 December 2007.
On February 6 2008, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes announced that Time Warner
would split AOL's internet access and advertising businesses into two, with the
possibility of later selling the internet access division.
 Community leaders
Prior to mid 2005, AOL used volunteers called Community Leaders, or CLs, to monitor
chatrooms, message boards, and libraries. Some community leaders were recruited for content
design and maintenance using a proprietary language and interface called RAINMAN, although
most content maintenance was performed by partner and internal employees.
In 1999, a class action lawsuit was filed against AOL citing violations of U.S. labor laws in its
usage of CLs. The Department of Labor investigated but came to no conclusions, closing their
investigation in 2001. In light of these events, AOL began drastically reducing the
responsibilities and privileges of its volunteers in 2000. The program was eventually ended on
June 8 2005. Current Community Leaders at the time were offered 12 months of credit on their
AOL's use of remote volunteers dated back to the establishment of its Quantum Link service in
 Billing disputes
AOL has faced a number of lawsuits over claims that it has been slow to stop billing customers
after their accounts have been canceled, either by the company or the user. In addition, AOL
changed its method of calculating used minutes in response to a class action lawsuit. Previously,
AOL would add fifteen seconds to the time a user was connected to the service and round up to
the next whole minute (thus, a person who used the service for 11 minutes and 46 seconds would
be charged for 13 minutes). AOL claimed this was to account for sign on/sign off time, but
because this practice was not made known to its customers, the plaintiffs won (some also pointed
out that signing on and off did not always take 15 seconds, especially when connecting via
another ISP). AOL disclosed its connection-time calculation methods to all of its customers and
credited them with extra free hours. In addition, the AOL software would notify the user of
exactly how long they were connected and how many minutes they were being charged.
AOL was sued by the Ohio Attorney General in October 2003 for improper billing practices. The
case was settled on June 8, 2005. AOL agreed to resolve any consumer complaints filed with the
Ohio AG's office. In December 2006, AOL agreed to provide restitution to Florida consumers to
settle the case filed against them by the Florida Attorney General.
 Account cancellation
In response to approximately 300 consumer complaints, then-New York Attorney General Eliot
Spitzer’s office began an inquiry of AOL’s customer service policies. The investigation revealed
that the company had an elaborate scheme for rewarding employees who purported to retain or
quot;savequot; subscribers who had called to cancel their Internet service. In many instances, such
retention was done against subscribers’ wishes, or without their consent. Under the scheme,
consumer service personnel received bonuses worth tens of thousands of dollars if they could
successfully dissuade or quot;savequot; half of the people who called to cancel service. For several years,
AOL had instituted minimum retention or quot;savequot; percentages, which consumer representatives
were expected to meet. These bonuses, and the minimum quot;savequot; rates accompanying them, had
the effect of employees not honoring cancellations, or otherwise making cancellation unduly
difficult for consumers.
Many customers complained that AOL personnel ignored their demands to cancel service and
stop billing. On August 24 2005, America Online agreed to pay $1.25 million to the state of New
York and reformed its customer service procedures. Under the agreement, AOL would no longer
require its customer service representatives to meet a minimum quota for customer retention in
order to receive a bonus.
On June 13 2006, a man named Vincent Ferrari documented his account cancellation phone call
in a blog post, stating he had switched to broadband years earlier. In the recorded phone call, the
AOL representative refused to cancel the account unless the 30-year-old Ferrari explained why
AOL hours were still being recorded on it. Ferrari insisted that AOL software was not even
installed on the computer. When Ferrari demanded that the account be canceled regardless, the
AOL representative asked to speak with Ferrari's father, for whom the account had been set up.
The conversation was aired on CNBC. When CNBC reporters tried to have an account on AOL
cancelled, they were hung up on immediately and it ultimately took more than 45 minutes to
cancel the account.
On July 18, 2006, AOL was rated #4 in an article entitled, quot;10 Worst Computer Gimmicks of
Recent Times.quot; 
On July 19 2006, AOL's entire retention manual was released on the Internet. (7MB PDF).
On August 3 2006, Time Warner announced that the company would be dissolving AOL's
retention centers due to its profits hinging on $1 billion in cost cuts. The company estimated that
it would lose more than six million subscribers over the following year.
This section needs additional citations for verification.
Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged
and removed. (March 2008)
In 2000, AOL was served with an $8 billion lawsuit alleging that its (now outdated) AOL
5.0 software caused significant difficulties for users attempting to use third-party Internet
service providers. The lawsuit sought damages of up to $1000 for each user that had
downloaded the software cited at the time of the lawsuit. AOL later agreed to a settlement
of $15 million, without admission of wrongdoing.  Now, the AOL software has a
feature called AOL Dialer, or AOL Connect on Mac OS X. This feature allows users to
connect to the ISP without running the full interface. This allows users to use only the
applications they wish to use, especially if they do not favor the AOL Browser.
AOL 9.0 was once identified by Stopbadware as being under investigation  for
installing additional software without disclosure, and modifying browser preferences,
toolbars, and icons. However, as of the release of AOL 9.0 VR (Vista Ready) on 26
January 2007, it is no longer considered badware due to changes AOL made in the
 Usenet newsgroups
When AOL gave clients access to Usenet in 1993, they hid at least one newsgroup in standard
list view: alt.aol-sucks. AOL did list the newsgroup in the alternative description view, but
changed the description to quot;Flames and complaints about America Onlinequot;. With AOL clients
swarming Usenet newsgroups, the old, existing user base started to develop a strong distaste for
both AOL and its clients, referring to the new state of affairs as Eternal September.
Later, AOL discontinued providing access to Usenet on 25 June 2005 . No official details
were provided as to the cause of decommissioning Usenet access, except providing users the
suggestion to access Usenet services from a third-party, Google Groups. Currently, AOL
provides community-based Message Boards in lieu of Usenet.
 Terms of Service (TOS)
AOL has a detailed set of guidelines and expectations for users on their service, known as the
Terms of Service (TOS, also known as Conditions of Service, or COS in the UK). It is separated
All three agreements are presented to users at time of registration and digital acceptance is
achieved when they access the AOL service.
There have been many complaints over rules that govern an AOL user's conduct. Some users
disagree with the TOS, citing the guidelines are too strict to follow coupled with the fact the TOS
may change without users being made aware. A considerable cause for this was likely due to
alleged censorship of user-generated content during the earlier years of growth for
 Certified e-mail
In early 2005, AOL stated its intention to implement certified e-mail, which will allow
companies to send email to users with whom they have pre-existing business relationships, with
a visual indication that the email is from a trusted source and without the risk that the email
messages might be blocked or stripped by spam filters.
This decision has drawn fire from MoveOn, which characterizes the program as an quot;e-mail taxquot;,
and the EFF, which characterizes it as a shakedown of non profits. A website called
Dearaol.com was launched, with an online petition and a blog that garnered hundreds of
signatures from people and organizations expressing their opposition to AOL's use of goodmail.
Esther Dyson defended the move in a New York Times editorial saying quot;I hope Goodmail
succeeds, and that it has lots of competition. I also think it and its competitors will eventually
transform into services that more directly serve the interests of mail recipients. Instead of the fees
going to Goodmail and EON, they will also be shared with the individual recipients.quot;.
Other members of the antispam and blogging community are broadly critical of moveon.org and
the EFF's attempts to characterize this as a quot;shakedownquot;.
Tim Lee of the Technology Liberation Front posted an article that questioned the EFF's adopting
a confrontational posture when dealing with private companies. Lee's article cited a series of
discussions on Declan McCullagh's Politechbot mailing list on this subject between the EFF's
Danny O'Brien and antispammer Suresh Ramasubramanian, who has also compared the EFF's
tactics in opposing Goodmail to tactics used by Republican political strategist Karl Rove.
Spamassassin developer Justin Mason posted some criticism of the EFF's and Moveon's quot;going
overboardquot; in their opposition to the scheme.
The dearaol.com campaign lost momentum and disappeared, with the last post to the now
defunct dearaol.com blog - quot;AOL starts the shakedownquot; being made on 9 May 2006.
 Search data
Main article: AOL search data scandal
On August 4, 2006, AOL released a compressed text file on one of its websites containing
twenty million search keywords for over 650,000 users over a 3-month period between March 1,
2006 and May 31, intended for research purposes. AOL pulled the file from public access by
August 7, but not before its wide distribution on the Internet by others. Derivative research, titled
A Picture of Search was published by authors Pass, Chowdhury and Torgeson for The First
International Conference on Scalable Information Systems.
The data are being used by Web sites such as AOLstalker for entertainment purposes, where
users of AOLstalker are encouraged to judge AOL clients based on the humorousness of
personal details revealed by search behavior.
 Company purchases
Main article: List of AOL acquisitions
 Company sales
AOL (Time Warner) has sold a number of its sub-companies in Europe. AOL Europe has six
million users, but its subscription base had been steadily declining. In 2005, 287,000 European
AOL online users migrated to other service providers. In September 2006, AOL Germany's
ISP business (AOL Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG) was sold for $863m (€675m) to Telecom
Italia. AOL's German web portal (AOL Deutschland), however, is now operated by then
newly founded AOL Deutschland Medien GmbH which still is a subsidiary of Time Warner.
Today, AOL Deutschland offers virtually all free services of AOL.com (see below) in German
versions as well as some own products, such as an AOL VISA card.(German)
In October 2006, AOL UK's ISP business was sold for $688m (£370m) to Carphone
 Notable people associated with AOL
Marc Andreessen (Netscape co-founder)
Jim Barksdale (former director)
John Barnes (former head researcher)
Randall Boe (Executive Vice President and General Counsel)
Jason Calacanis (former CEO of Weblogs, Inc. and former GM of Netscape)
Steve Case (former CEO and Board Chairman)
Mary Cheney (former Vice President for Consumer Advocacy)
Elwood Edwards (Voice actor)
Randy Falco (CEO and Board Chairman)
Justin Frankel (Nullsoft founder)
Maureen Govern (former CTO)
Ron Grant (President and COO)
Alexander Haig (former Director)
Michael Jones (former CEO of Userplane)
Jim Kimsey (former CEO and Board Chairman)
Ted Leonsis (Vice Chairman, President AOL Audience Group)
Jonathan Miller (former CEO and Board Chairman)
Robert W. Pittman (former President)
Colin Powell (former Director)
Michael Powell (involved during merge with Time Warner)
Barry Schuler (former CEO)
Marc Seriff (former CTO)
Jason Smathers (former AOL employee convicted of stealing America Online's 92
million screen names and selling it to known spammers.)
Jean Villanueva (former Vice President of Corporate Communications, married Steve
Case in 1998)
 International versions
AOL has several versions of its service for different countries. http://corp.aol.com/about-
 Online security services
AOL's recent software incarnations have provided different combinations of security features,
usually involving McAfee's VirusScan and Firewall software.
In late 2005, AOL released AOL Safety & Security Center, a bundle of McAfee anti-
virus, CA anti-spyware, and proprietary firewall and phishing protection software. The
software was offered free of charge, but only to users with an AOL e-mail address or an
AOL My eAddress running Microsoft Windows XP or 2000.
On August 7, 2006 , AOL released AOL Active Virus Shield. This software was
developed by Kaspersky Lab. Active Virus Shield software was free and did not require
an AOL account, only an internet e-mail address.
On June 8, 2006 , AOL offered a new program called AOL Active Security Monitor.
This is a diagnostic tool to check the local PC's security status, and recommends
additional security software from AOL or Download.com. The program rates the
computer on a variety of different areas of security and general computer health. The
current version only supports Windows 2000/XP with Internet Explorer 5.0 or greater.
On July 18, 2007 , AOL released quot;McAfee VirusScan Plus: Special Edition from
AOLquot; (VSP) to its free members, and a premium version, quot;McAfee Internet Security
Suite: Special Edition from AOLquot; (MIS), to its paid subscribers. These replace both the
quot;AOL Safety and Security Centerquot; and the now-defunct quot;AOL Active Virus Shieldquot;. MIS
contains all components of VSP plus includes tools like automatic back-up.
 Free services
On August 2, 2006 AOL announced a plan to offer quot;manyquot; of its services for free, with or
without an AOL Internet connection.quot;
Among the announced plans are free email services.
Chat rooms are included with the free service, but users are required to verify the age of
an account created under the free plan using a credit card. AOL charges $1 to the credit
card provided and then immediately refunds the charge.
AOL Video features professional content and allows users to upload videos as well. The
original user-orientated video service was called UnCut Video, but was abandoned.
AOL Local comprises their CityGuide, Yellow Pages, and Local Search to help users
find local information like restaurants, local events, and directory listings.
AOL currently provides free usage of a custom domain name, which it calls an AOL My
eAddress. This allows users to create an e-mail address like
'email@example.com', and allows up to 100 other addresses to be created.
These e-mail accounts can be accessed in a manner similar to other AOL and AIM e-mail
Xdrive was a service offered by AOL which allowed users to back up their files over the
Internet. It was closed on January 12, 2009.
Games.com is an online page featuring browser-based games. it is part of the main AOL
website, under games.
 Other developments
In late 2006, AOL began offering free and unlimited digital picture storage for both free
and paid accounts. Original resolutions are preserved, and an ActiveX control provides a
drag-n-drop interface within web browsers, permitting users to drop an entire folder of
photos into the web page to upload them.
On October 4, 2006, AOL released a free Internet suite called OpenRide, which
combines a web browser, instant messenger, email client and media player.
On February 16, 2007, it was announced that AOL now supports OpenID.
On March 13, 2008, AOL purchased the popular networking site Bebo for $850m
On July 25, 2008 AOL announced it was shedding XDrive, AOL Pictures, and
BlueString to save on costs and focus on its its core advertising business. XDrive may be
put up for sale. AOL Pictures was terminated on December 31, 2008.
On October 31, 2008, AOL Hometown (a web hosting service for the websites of AOL
customers) and the AOL Journal blog hosting service were eliminated. 
 Movie studios partnership
AOL's Beverly Hills branch office
AOL's Silicon Valley branch office
On Friday, 25 August 2006, AOL announced that it had signed a deal with several major movie
studios to open an online video store allowing users to quot;download to ownquot; full length movies and
television shows. The deal was signed with News Corporation's 20th Century Fox, Sony Corp.'s
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, NBC Universal's Universal Pictures, and corporate sibling
Warner Home Entertainment Group
 See also
1. ^ quot;AOL LLC on Yahoo HotJobsquot;. http://hotjobs.yahoo.com/Company-Profiles/A/AOL-LLC-
Jobs_26597. Retrieved on 2007-01-16.
2. ^ Washington Post - AOL Moving Executives, Headqarters to New York
3. ^ International Services - About AOL (AOL.com)
4. ^ a b c d Holahan, Catherine (2006-07-31). quot;Will Less Be More for AOL?quot;. BusinessWeek.
5. ^ Li, Kenneth (2006-07-26). quot;AOL expected to scrap chargesquot;. Yahoo!.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060727/wr_nm/media_timewarner_aol_dc_7. Retrieved on 2006-
6. ^ Rosencrance, Linda (2007-11-08). quot;AOL revenue, subscribers plummetquot;. ComputerWorld.
3&intsrc=news_ts_head. Retrieved on 2007-11-12.
7. ^ Yang, Catherine (2005-11-11). quot;Has AOL Met Its Match?quot;. BusinessWeek.
8. ^ quot;Broadband survey resultsquot;. BBC News. 2007-03-21.
. Retrieved on 2007-12-04.
9. ^ BBC NEWS | Business | Carphone Warehouse buying AOL UK
10. ^ a b c Klein, Alec. Stealing Time: Steve Case, Jerry Levin, and the Collapse of AOL Time
Warner. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-5984-X.
11. ^ quot;History of Computing Industrial Era (1985–1990)quot;. The History of Computing Project. 2006-
03-20. http://www.thocp.net/timeline/1989.htm. Retrieved on 2005-09-24.
12. ^ quot;Apple II history chapter 22quot;. 2002-12-31. http://apple2history.org/history/ah22.html.
Retrieved on 2005-09-24.
13. ^ Mills, Elinor. quot;AOL hanging up on dial-up customers?quot;. CNET.
6043910.html?tag=nl. Retrieved on August 3 2006.
14. ^ quot;AOL price plansquot;. http://free.aol.com/thenewaol/plan_choice.adp. Retrieved on October 29
15. ^ quot;America Online Changes Its Name to AOLquot;. 2006-04-03.
http://www.timewarner.com/corp/newsroom/pr/0,20812,1179447,00.html. Retrieved on 2006-07-
16. ^ quot;AOL (TWX): Randy Falco's Year-End Love Note to AOLersquot;.
Retrieved on December 18 2007.
17. ^ quot;AOL Moves Headquarters To New York Cityquot;. 2007-09-17.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119003377082529719.html?mod=googlenews_wsj. Retrieved on
18. ^ Story, Louise (10 March 2008). quot;AOL Brings Out the Penguins to Explain Ad Targetingquot;.
saul-and-louise-post-with-article/. in Story, Louise (10 March 2008). quot;To Aim Ads, Web Is
Keeping Closer Eye on Youquot;. The New York Times (The New York Times Company).
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/10/technology/10privacy.html. Retrieved on 2008-03-09.
19. ^ Bearne, Suzanne (11 August 2008). quot;AOL campaign explains behavioural targetingquot;. NMA
Retrieved on 2008-08-15.
20. ^ quot;CRG West accounces the acquisition of Data Center in Reston, Virginiaquot; (PDF). 2008-01-03.
http://www.crgwest.com/PDFs/12100_Sunrise_Press_Release.pdf. Retrieved on 2008-11-16.
21. ^ quot;Tuesday is Layoff Day at AOLquot;. 2007-10-15.
http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/10/15/tuesday-is-layoff-day-at-aol/. Retrieved on 2007-10-17.
22. ^ quot;AOL (TWX): Live Layoff Coveragequot;. http://www.alleyinsider.com/2007/10/aol-twx-how-
to.html. Retrieved on 2007-10-27.
23. ^ quot;AOL (TWX): Live Layoff Coveragequot;. 2007-10-15. http://www.alleyinsider.com/2007/10/aol-
twx-how-to.html. Retrieved on 2007-10-27.
24. ^ Time Warner Will Split AOL: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance
25. ^ quot;AOLquot;. Better Business Bureau.
http://www.dc.bbb.org/report.html?national=Y&compid=2087. Retrieved on 2008-01-22.
26. ^ quot;AOLquot;. Better Business Bureau.
http://www.dc.bbb.org/report.html?national=Y&compid=2087. Retrieved on 2008-01-22.
27. ^ Wells, Jane (2006-06-21). quot;How hard can it be to cancel an AOL account?quot;. CNBC.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13447232/. Retrieved on 2006-07-24.
28. ^ Foster, Daniel (2006-07-18). quot;10 Worst Computer Gimmicks of Recent Timesquot;. PC Fastlane.
http://www.pcfastlane.com/features/10-worst-computer-gimmicks-of-recent-times/. Retrieved on
29. ^ America Online: AOL Retention Manual Uploaded in Full
30. ^ AOL: TimeWarner Dissolves AOL Retention Centers
31. ^ http://www.gardencitygroup.com/cases/pdf/AOL/AOLNotice.pdf
32. ^ http://stopbadware.org/reports/reportdisplay?reportname=aol082706
33. ^ StopBadware.org
34. ^ BetaNews | AOL Pulls Plug on Newsgroup Service
35. ^ AOL Member Agreement
36. ^ Conditions of Service - AOL Help
37. ^ http://www.aolwatch.org/censory.htm
38. ^ The Truth Seeker - Internet Censorship
39. ^ Censorship on AOL Late 1998–1999
40. ^ EFF:
41. ^ Cindy Cohn (2006-02-08). quot;AOL, Yahoo and Goodmail: Taxing Your Email for Fun and
Profitquot;. EFF. http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/004398.php.
42. ^ Dyson, Esther (2006-03-17). quot;You've Got Goodmailquot;. New York Times.
c907&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss. Retrieved on 2006-07-24.
43. ^ quot;AOL Germany for sale?quot;. The Register. 2006-04-15.
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/05/15/aol_for_sale/. Retrieved on 2006-11-08.
44. ^ quot;Telecom Italia buys AOL Germanyquot;. 18 September 2006.
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/09/18/telecom_italia_buys_aol. Retrieved on 2006-11-11.
45. ^ quot;Carphone Warehouse to acquire Time Warner's AOL Internet access business in the UK for
£370 millionquot;. Carphone Warehouse Press Release. 2006-10-11.
http://www.cpwplc.com/cpw/media/press/2006/2006-10-11/. Retrieved on 2006-10-27.
46. ^ quot;Carphone Warehouse buying AOL UKquot;. BBC News. 2006-10-11.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6039740.stm. Retrieved on 2006-10-11.
47. ^ Ex-AOL worker who stole e-mail list sentenced. MSNBC.com
48. ^ Pair Nailed in AOL Spam Scheme. TheSmokingGun.com. June 23, 2004.
49. ^ AOL News and Broadcast Center
50. ^ AOL Launches Free Software To Improve PC Security For All Internet Users
51. ^ AOL News and Broadcast Center
52. ^ quot;AOL Uses Refurbished Software to Woo Customersquot;. The Money Times. 4 October 2006.
mers-id-101785.html. Retrieved on 2006-11-11.
53. ^ Pogue, David (6 January 2007). quot;Fewer excuses for not doing a PC backupquot;. The New York
6147459.html?tag=nefd.lede. Retrieved on 2007-01-06. Quote: quot;Online backups, where files are
shuttled off to the Internet for safekeeping, are suddenly becoming effortless, capacious and even
54. ^ quot;Xdrive storage site to closequot;. Webuser (IPC Media Limited). January 5, 2009.
http://www.webuser.co.uk/news/news.php?id=274634. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
55. ^ http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/25/AR2008072501978.html
AOL shutting 3 services to cut costs, focus on ads
56. ^ http://www.peopleconnectionblog.com/2008/09/30/were-closing-our-doors/ AOL's
PeopleConnection Blog: We're Closing Our Doors
57. ^ quot;AOL Goes Hollywood With Video Portalquot;. The Washington Post. 2006-08-25.
 External links
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